We Wait

~A Meditative Poem for Good Friday~

Holy seed.
Divine conception.
Incarnated promise.

Escape and sequester.
A home-going.
Boyhood.

Brother to siblings.
A father’s apprentice.
Temple dweller.

Coming of age.
Baptism.
A Father’s pleasure.

Wedding.
Water.
Wine.

Storyteller.
Rebel teacher.
Traveling celebrity.

Water-walker.
Storm-tamer.
Death-beater.

Compassionate healer.
Feeder of mouths.
Tender of souls.

Who is He?

Mary’s son.
Mad man.
Messiah.

A sacred feast.
A faithful few.
A traitor.

He prayed. He pleaded.
He wept. He listened.
He obeyed.

A kiss.

Accused. Abused. Abandoned.
Beaten and punished.
Mocked. Ridiculed. Cursed.
Kicked and whipped.
Bludgeoned.
Flesh and sweat.
Blood and bits.
Tremors.
Convulsions.
Exhaustion and agony.

Again.

And again.

Spare him.
Walk him.
To ‘The Skull.’

Hammer and nails.
Tendon and bone.
Execution.

Suspended spectacle.
Naked. Humiliated.
Alone.

Grief. Wailing. Mourning.
Disdain. Laughter. Self-satisfaction.
Together.

Guiltless for the guilty.
Justice through injustice.

Love.

Death.

Silence.

It is finished.
The grave is full.

We wait.

How Big Are Your Ears?

I found another one today, resting on my dresser. It lay softly on a pile of receipts that await entry into our budgeting spreadsheet. Somewhat crinkled, dog-eared and covered halfway with penciled words was a sheet of lined paper. It was host to a writing assignment, now complete. My wife placed the paper there, offering me a chance to sample some homeschooling fruit. And this day, the fruit was sweet.

The assignment I ingested required one of our ‘students’ to write a descriptive paragraph about someone. My son chose to write about himself. A brave boy, he is. Below is what he wrote. As part of my “I won’t embarrass you on my blog” agreement, I’ll refer to my child as ‘Freddy.’

Freddy writes…


“Freddy’s general appearance is blonde hair, green eyes, roundish face, and an ear size difference. He is a born-again Christian and has a slight habit of eating paper. He is rather creative when it comes to making jokes off of what people say and is very intellectual. He’s not very good at drawing or art in general. He is rather accustomed to rules and does his best to follow them. He is also logical and, of his siblings, is most like his dad. Freddy lives in a modest family which always seems to have enough – and maybe a little more.”



Okay, stop. Just go do it. Go ahead. It’s okay. I did it too. Find the nearest mirror and compare the size of your ears. Yes, mine are different sizes. At least I know where my son gets his asymmetry. Unfortunately, this revelation has fostered an urge to stare at other people’s ears.

Ears and all, I appreciate the honest observations my boy made of himself. He’s done well with grasping not just his physical characteristics, but some of his behaviors too. I’m slightly disturbed by the paper eating (yes, we do feed him) but moved to gratitude at his recognition of God’s provision for the basics – and then some.

Not long ago, I met a super hero – and he was me. In the discovery of my hero, I learned how I’m tempted toward the innocuous comfort of mild-mannered citizenry instead of robust living in my God-given ‘superness.’ (read here for more super hero context) My son’s simple musings in his writing assignment entice me to know more about him. They also energize me to a quicker walk down my own path of self-discovery. I’ve been walking that path with intentionality as of late, and his words offer me freshness for the next leg.

I need that freshness because exploring who I am seems big. Intimidating. Unruly. Raw. But I’m coaxed through my fear by the promise that unsettled ground will soon level into a wide meadow of freedom. 



We are made to be known. Not known as in eye color or the proclivity to snack on tree pulp. But known emotionally. Known by our passions and desires. Known through experiences and relationships. Know in our longings and fulfillment. Known in our delights and in being delightful. Known for our being, not just our doing. 



Such deep knowing seems far off. Airy. Theoretical. But it’s not. In fact, I’m already known. Fully and wonderfully and delightfully.

By whom?

Jesus.



Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father…” (John 10:14–15a, ESV) Jesus knows those who love and trust Him. Not casually, but to the core. His knowledge of his followers is just like how He and the Father know each other. Pure. Whole. Trustworthy. Complete. Lovely. Peaceful. That level of knowing is spectacular. And it is ours. In God’s safe care, it is life.

God invites each of us to know Him in His knowing us. To bring Him our joy and grief and laughter and longings. To meditate and listen and rest and sing and write. To experience His presence in the mundane and the magnificent. To flourish as His craftsmanship without regret or shame or shyness of fear. To be super, not suppressed.

I am known, and I am grateful. From the secure place of Christ’s love, I can open myself to being known, and to knowing others. Knowing more, that is, than ear sizes.

Dripping Toward Courage

My family has stuff. No way around it with a tribe of seven. We have 11 bicycles in our garage. That “dirty dozen minus one” has bullied my car into parking outside during the warmer months. I’ve dealt with it. Not a big deal until last week – when it rained.

Like Eddie Rabbitt, I love a rainy night. I love it for two reasons: the drone of rain on the roof is soothing, and my car gets washed. Unfortunately, nature’s washing of my car has become intrusive.

On a recent drive to work following a nighttime rain event, I was greeted by unwelcome wetness. My forearm and pant leg were assaulted by a procession of drips from my car’s headliner. Great. Fantastic. Splendid. More salt in my wound of wanting everything perfect. Didn’t we talk about this, God? I know, another ‘opportunity’ for growth. But is it too much to ask that I show-up to work without having to explain why my pants are wet?

I butt-scooted in the driver’s seat to avoid further wetness while working hard to maintain a steady foot on the accelerator. As the drips fell in steady rhythm, my discontent mushroomed. My contortions to control the vehicle were fuel for my cynicism. I eventually succumbed to the allure of self-pity and boarded the train of bitterness.

I was being a coward.

Courage is required to engage life’s frustrations with big-picture perspective. Unfortunately, courage is not a commodity. It must be grown and developed and practiced. We understand the need for courage in times like job loss, illness, or when trapped in a den of lions. Courage must also be summoned when confronted with leaky car roofs and broken lawn tractors. When a firm word needs to be spoken, courage must partner with love and grace. It should be deployed to close a mouth that wants to instruct, when a listening ear is what’s needed. Courage must be at the ready when facing the disappointment of unmet expectations.

Jesus was the most courageous man ever. Not once did he relent to cowardice. He didn’t side-step or play the victim. On the eve of His crucifixion, Jesus courageously engaged his destiny. In John’s gospel it says, “Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?”” (John 18:4, ESV) Jesus knew what was coming. The ridicule. The torture. Separation from His Father. The ultimate death experience. Still, he “came forward.” No hiding. No complaining. No self-pity. No bitterness. Jesus courageously confronted the Cross.

Richard Baxter said, “We strive for unspeakable glory, and nothing should seem too difficult, or sufferings too great.” The path to glory is unpredictable. Much courage is required. But great is the finished work of our Courageous Pioneer, Jesus Christ.

My leaky roof and wet pants no longer seem like such a big deal.